This isn’t a political football. This is life. This is reality. There’s no Democrat, Republican or whatever else politically is out there. In the college sports realm:
It’s time for NCAA President Mark Emmert to pull the plug even more.
No more spring football, as we know it. No organized football practice until at least July. We’re in a state of emergency. People are sick. People are spreading germs. More people will become sick.
College football is important, sure, but not as important as the welfare of the unpaid athletes and the fans that attend mostly meaningless spring games.
Some conferences have delayed their annual spring football games, typically played in early April.
But this coronavirus thing isn’t just an epidemic, it’s a pandemic.
All alternatives need to be on the table for sports — and society.
Colleges are canceling in-person classes. Students are taking courses online. The NCAA has shut down competitions for at least the spring season. Some schools have altered spring football, while others are considering it. Some schools have canceled spring football games, some are considering it, and some no longer even have spring games anyhow, regardless of the health and welfare of the world.
Some conferences, like the Big 12 and Big Ten, are banning activities until late March or early April. Some haven’t yet acted. Most probably will, but their tweaks will be different.
We might as well be uniform in this, which is why the NCAA should set the parameters.
Mr. Emmert, let’s make this mandatory with everyone until our health care system gets a handle on this virus that’s sweeping our planet. College athletes, sadly, have been largely stripped of their voice over the years. They are trusting their coaches and administrations to watch out for them.
Be their advocate.
Everyone put the brakes on football this spring. If this threat was over in a couple of weeks, I'd be thrilled. The problem is, the infectious disease experts who saw this coming would be shocked if that happens.
This is going to take a while.
Everyone — Iowa State, Iowa, Northern Iowa, Alabama, Clemson and everyone else — let's worry about football in the summer. It may affect the quality of the game. It may require shortening the season.
And that's OK.
Students won’t be attending classes for a while, so should 100 or so football players be in locker rooms and showers together for spring practices and scrimmages?
I don't need to answer that. It's obvious.
Recruiting is starting to shut down now too. That's also a good thing.
Coaches, who are known workaholics, may find themselves with something called "free time."
Maybe they can binge-watch "The Ranch." Paint the house. Play solitaire. Hang with the kids. Or watch "The Longest Yard," because for them, it could end up being The Longest Spring.